Winter Holidays

Additional Winter Holidays 2023

Some of the holidays that are celebrated this December and early January are Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and Orthodox Christmas. 

The following  holidays will be celebrated on the following dates:

Christmas- Sunday, December 25th 

Kwanzaa- Monday, December 26th-Sunday, January 1st

Orthodox Christmas- Sunday, January 7th  

The holidays are presented in chronological order. I have also included information about the Winter Solstice and ways to support students that do not celebrate holidays.

Local Holiday Events

2023 Holiday Events-Lansdale and North Penn community

Philadelphia holiday events happening this season- Philadelphia Inquirer

22 Must-See Holiday Attractions in Greater Philadelphia for 2023


Christmas is celebrated by many on December 25th. Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on or near January 7th. Information about Orthodox Christmas, including the traditions and countries where is it traditionally celebrated is included in the following links:

Orthodox Christmas Day

Orthodox Christmas_ Resource’ for Kids

Five Fun Facts About Christmas:

The tradition of Christmas trees goes back to ancient Egyptians and Romans, who decorated with evergreens during the winter solstice to signify that spring would return.

It is believed that leaving milk and cookies for Santa Claus originated as an American holiday tradition during the Great Depression. During that time of economic hardship, parents tried to teach their children to give to others and to show gratitude for the gifts they received at Christmastime. Speaking of gifts…

If you gave all the gifts listed in the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas," it would equal 364 presents—almost enough for every day of the year!

‘The Grinch' is the highest-grossing Christmas film of all time. The 2018 computer-animated film brought in $512,858,819 worldwide. The runner-up? Home Alone, the Christmas classic from 1990.

The eight tiny reindeer have had lots of names- Rudolph was almost named Rollo or Reginald, which doesn't quite have the same ring to it. His crew also had lots of other names. They've also been called Flossie, Glossie, Racer, Pacer, Scratcher, Feckless, Ready, Steady and Fireball.

History of Christmas- History Channel

11 Weird and Wonderful Christmas Traditions Around the World


Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26th through January 1st each year.

A Few Fun Facts

The holiday was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 to celebrate family, culture and heritage, and is modeled after the first harvest celebrations in Africa.

The colors of Kwanzaa are a reflection of the Pan-African movement representing “unity” for peoples of African descent worldwide: Black for the people, red for the noble blood that unites all people of African ancestry, and green for the rich land of Africa. 

There are 7 principles and 7 symbols that emphasize a unique set of values and ideals during the 7 days of Kwanzaa… also spelled with 7 letters- highlighting the power of 7.

With over 2000 languages spoken on the African continent, Kwanzaa adopted one of the many unifying languages, Swahili, which is spoken by millions on the African continent. The name Kwanzaa comes from a Swahili phrase meaning "first fruits."

Kwanzaa is rooted in African culture, however, people from all racial and ethnic backgrounds are welcomed to join in the celebration. 

Resources for Teachers and Families

Kwanzaa Facts for Kids

History of Kwanzaa-Video for middle school school students, teachers and families

Books for Teachers and Families

Scholastic Books for Elementary Students

Top Ten Books about Kwanzaa- Colours of Us- Elementary Students

Winter Solstice

Although the holidays are not directly connected to the Winter Solstice, the lighting of candles and lights are integral to the traditions of each holiday.  With this in mind, I wanted to share information about the Winter Solstice.

The winter solstice marks the beginning of winter, which is the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year. This date usually falls around December 22 in the northern hemisphere. This year the winter solstice is Wednesday, December 21st. 

Four Fun Facts About Winter Solstice

The term solstice comes from the Latin word solstitial, meaning 'the Sun stands still'. The December solstice is actually a specific time. This year, the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere is on December 21st at 10:27 PM EST.

New York City will experience 9 hours and 15 minutes of sunlight, compared to 15 hours and 5 minutes on the summer solstice. Helsinki, Finland will get 5 hours and 49 minutes of light and Barrow, Alaska, will not have a sunrise at all.

The December Solstice can happen on December 20, 21, 22, or 23, though December 20 or 23 solstices are rare. The last December 23 solstice was in 1903 and will not happen again until 2303.

In the Southern Hemisphere, December 21st is the summer solstice and the longest day of the year, because equinoxes and solstices are on opposite sides of the earth.  

8 Winter Solstice Celebrations Around the World

7 Winter Solstice Celebrations From Around the World

Coming in January...Information about Martin Luther King, Jr Day